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News Archives: Index

October 7, 2010: Probation Set For Industrial Action

October 5, 2010: Turning Prisoners Into Taxpayers

October 4, 2010: Murder Changes Now In Force

September 20, 2010: Probation Programmes Face Cuts

August 24, 2010: Victorian Poor Law Records Online

August 10, 2010: Justice Job Cuts

July 28, 2010: Prison Violence Growing

July 22, 2010: Police Numbers: Latest Figures

July 22, 2010: New Jurisdiction Rules

July 16, 2010: CCJS On Prison And Probation Spending Under Labour

July 15, 2010: Latest Statistics On Violent And Sexual Crime

July 15, 2010: Latest National Crime Figures

July 15, 2010: New Chief Prisons Inspector

July 14, 2010: Hard Times Ahead For Prisons: Anne Owers

July 14, 2010: Prison Does Not Work: Ken Clarke

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform: Sentencing and Rehabilitation

July 13, 2010: Criminal Justice Reform Priorities

July 12, 2010: What Price Public Protection, Asks Probation Chief Inspector

July 12, 2010: NOMS has failed, says Napo

July 10, 2010: IPCC To Investigate Death of Raoul Moat

July 9, 2010: Women In Prison: New Report

July 9, 2009: Unjust Deserts: Imprisonment for Public Protection

July 8, 2010: Police Search Powers Change

July 7, 2010: Make 'Legal High' Illegal, Says ACMD

July 2, 2010: Failing Children In Prison

July 2, 2010: Police Buried Under a Blizzard of Guidance: HMIC

July 1, 2010: Freedom To Change The Law?

June 30, 2010: A New Outlook On Penal Reform?

June 30, 2010: Revolving Door Of Offending Must Stop, Says Clarke

June 30, 2010: Ken Clarke: Speech on Criminal Justice Reform

June 29, 2010: No More Police Targets

June 26, 2010: Family Intervention Projects Questioned

June 25, 2010: Cutting Criminal Justice

June 24, 2010: Napo on Sex Offenders Report

June 23, 2010: Closing Courts: The Cuts Begin

June 23, 2010: Strategy To Tackle Gangs

June 15, 2010: Courts and Mentally Disordered Offenders

June 8, 2010: Working With Muslims in Prison

June 1, 2010: Your Chance To Nominate a QC

November 17, 2004: Cameras Arrive in Court

A pilot scheme for filming cases in the Court of Appeal commenced in the Royal Courts of Justice on 16 November 2004. It will not be broadcast to the public and is for research purposes only. At present, the law prohibits taking photographs (including film or video) in court, or broadcasting any sound recording made in court.

The Lord Chancellor has outlined the arguments for and against the use of television cameras in English and Welsh courts. Launching a consultation paper titled Broadcasting Courts, Lord Falconer reaffirmed his belief that the Government would not make any changes that adversely affected victims, witnesses or jurors. He stated that technology and public attitudes have moved on since restrictions were first placed on the broadcasting of courts in 1925.

Options explored in the proposals include broadcasting proceedings online. The paper describes the range of court proceedings, which are subject to varying degrees of public access and reporting restrictions and broadcasting options. It also runs through the implications of broadcasting for participants in court cases, and the issues this would raise for distinct groups such as witnesses, jurors, defendants, judges, lawyers and other parties.

The consultation paper - available here on the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) website at  sets out the background to this issue - how the original legislation came about, recent developments (such as the filming of parts of the Hutton inquiry) and the experience of cameras in court in Scotland and abroad.

The paper also explores public interest issues on the question of broadcasting courts. For example, there are arguments that broadcasting courts would allow greater public scrutiny of courts and increase confidence in the justice system; that it would help to educate and inform people how courts work in practice. Conversely, the paper covers arguments on the potentially harmful effects of broadcasting proceedings; that it may deter people from coming forward or giving evidence that people may play to the cameras rather than concentrate on the evidence they are giving. Or that some cases - such as family disputes or cases involving children - should only be heard in private.

Lord Falconer called for a full public debate of the issues. He stated:

"Cameras in the courtroom would be a big step. We have to make sure that any such step would benefit justice, not burden justice. No change to make our courts more open and accessible should worsen or jeopardise in any way the position of witnesses and victims or make witnesses reluctant to appear."

The DCA is setting up an internet discussion forum, as well as allowing people to respond to the consultation paper by completing a questionnaire on-line. Comments on the paper are sought by 28 February 2005.